Asakusa Shop Update

 

The Mokuhankan Asakusa shop is still closed. Most of our employees are at home, doing as much of their work as possible in isolation. Our printing staff - working away from the public view - are very busy trying to keep up with their work, and our shipping centre (isolated from Tokyo) is operating as normal, so online and subscription shipments should continue as usual.

We will continue monitoring the situation, and will re-open the shop when it seems appropriate to do so. Thank you for your understanding.

 

Shipping Update

 

With Japan's borders still closed to tourists, and the consequent reduction in flights to/from this country, package delivery has been severely impacted. On top of this, many countries are reporting that their postal systems are encountering difficulties in properly processing shipments. We are using tracking wherever possible on our packages, so it should be possible to determine where/when your prints will arrive.

Here are comments from the Japanese Post office covering the current situation with various international postal services. Some countries are accepting mail, others are not.

USA: The Japanese Post Office has resumed EMS service to the US. They had been accepting 'Small Packet' (no tracking) and 'E Packet' (trackable) items, but suddenly (Nov 2) they stopped taking these. So we send such items through our alternate delivery system: every couple of weeks we make a 'bulk shipment' of combined customer orders - via FedEx - to a US address (Hi Jed!), from where the packages are then shipped via Domestic USPS. It takes a bit longer than it used to, but things are moving through steadily and safely ... Thank you for your patience! [FedEx shipment timing: Shipments left on November 18th and 19th; the next one is expected to leave around the end of the month. If you are planning a time-sensitive purchase for a birthday gift, etc. please confirm with us first ...]

Europe: The Japanese Post Office is accepting items for most European countries (see the exceptions listed below). But they are doing so with a clear advisory that 'delays are to be expected'.

Australia: Severe disruption. The Japanese Post Office has shut down acceptance for anything other than Sea Post. No EMS, no E-Packet, no Small Packet ... nothing other than letters (which are not allowed to contain anything other than a 'letter' ... we have tried). One option is FedEx, who are accepting for Australia, but this is far more expensive (and still takes weeks to arrive.) At present we are holding all packages for Australia, re-checking with the Post Office daily, in the expectation that service will resume soon, as the backlog in the Australian sorting centers is gradually cleared. [Update: We are testing a 'work-around' similar to our US system described above: we have sent a 'package of packages' to a contact in Hong Kong, already labelled and postage paid for the Hong Kong Post Office. Once they arrive there, they will be put into that system for delivery to Australia. If this works, we'll set it up for everybody, and resume Australia service.]

UK: Post Office advisory: 'Mail items to the United Kingdom are being accepted ... but may encounter delays'

Canada: it has been 'on again - off again' with Canada, and it is currently 'off'. We are routing everything through the US as described above. They are getting through, but it is of course taking a bit longer, and tracking is only available for the final leg ...

Russia: We are encountering massive trouble with shipping to Russia. Shipments are delayed, returned (after months of delay), or simply 'lost' (even tracked items). We will ship to Russia if you insist, but we must clarify that this is at your risk; if the package 'disappears', we (and the Japanese Postal authorities) are unable to help you.

Most Asian countries are now accepting ...

List of currently stopped countries (partial):

  • Australia
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • India
  • Most of South America (Chile and Argentina are accepting EMS)

The complete list published by the Japanese Post Office is here (.pdf).

If you are in a 'stopped' country, you have two options: place your order and we will 'hold' the shipment until the situation improves ... or please hold off, and come back to place an order later. Thank you for your understanding.